Opportunity is Waiting

Just 10 minutes outside of Raleigh, Downtown Garner is on the verge of booming big. Public investment in downtown, coupled with Garner’s small town atmosphere, is catalyzing opportunities for private development – come for the convenience, stay for the community.

Available Development Opportunities

Downtown Opportunity Site

The Town of Garner, North Carolina is now accepting Development Partner Proposals for the development of property on W Main Street that has come to be known as the “Downtown Opportunity Site”. The Town seeks a qualified development partner(s) to develop the Town-owned site into a mixed-use development of up to four stories that can include a mix of retail, residential, and/or office uses. Responses to the solicitation are due no later than January 15, 2021.

The Development Finance Initiative, a program of the UNC School of Government, has been hired by the town to work with interested development teams to present development concepts for review and consideration by the Town. DFI will help development teams understand and respond to the Town’s requirements for the development of the site. This process will culminate in the selection of a development partner or partners and the negotiation of one or more development service agreements for public-private partnerships.

Prior to releasing this solicitation, DFI and the Town spent over 12 months completing significant pre-development on the site to ensure the project is supported by the community, endorsed by the Town Council, and is financially feasible for development partners. The site is a roughly 0.3-acre development pad next to the newly constructed Garner Recreation Center and is located in the heart of downtown commercial activity within walking distance of multiple parks and recreational areas.

Low vacancy and limited supply of retail and Class A office space, coupled with steady growth in population and income, suggests an opportunity for a profitable mixed-use development. The site is also located within a qualified federal Opportunity Zone. The Opportunity Zone (OZ) program, created as a part of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, aims to encourage private investment in low income communities.

The full Solicitation for Development Proposals is available from DFI. Please contact Matt Crook at crook@sog.unc.edu or Rory Dowling at dowling@sog.unc.edu for additional details.

In partnership with

Economic Development Strategies

Downtown Garner’s economic development priorities focus on transformative strategies that are based on local assets, stakeholders, existing business concentrations that attract specific customer bases,  encourage complimentary development, and make downtown a destination.

Creative Entrepreneurship

Tech companies, artists, and creative entrepreneurs of all types call Downtown Garner home.  Located only 5 miles from Downtown Raleigh, our historic business district is an appealing and affordable alternative for every type of business from growing start ups to unique evening entertainment to mom’n’pop shops.

 Building Identity as Destination for

  • A cool place to work
  • Alternative to Downtown Raleigh
  • Creative businesses to get started
Assets & Stakeholders
  • Town Owned Development Site
    • Largest opportunity for new office/retail space
  • Gearworks Bridge Space
    • Town support for growing start up businesses
    • Generates interest in working downtown
  • Cluster of Creative/Tech Businesses
    • Garner Underground
    • Operation 36
    • Bluewave Deployment
    • Grafix House Design Studio
  • Invested Entrepreneurs with locally owned businesses
    • Full Bloom Coffee
    • Shady’s
    • Locs, Naturals, & More
    • Ball & Minor CPA
    • Carroll Service Company
Target Markets

Target Customers

  • Developers to build new spaces
  • Entrepreneurs growing out of coworking/work from home situations
  • People who want unique locally owned restaurant/retail

Target Businesses Sectors

  • Start ups related to existing businesses
  • Coworking/Makers’ Space
  • Locally owned retail/restaurant
  • Entrepreneurs in need of minimal space

Cultural Arts

Downtown Garner has a growing reputation as a destination for cultural arts, driven by the growth of artisanal manufacturing, creative design, and placemaking public art.  An outstanding performance venue and craft driven events to round out Downtown Garner’s cultural offerings, with more opportunities for creativity and public art on the horizon.

Building Identity as Destination for

  • High quality live entertainment
  • Community-driven visual arts
  • Craft/artisan businesses
Assets & Stakeholders
  • Garner Performing Arts Center
    • It’s Showtime!
    • Broadway Voices
    • Garner Town Players
    • Local event/performance space
  • Place-making visual arts
    • Sean Kernick’s Garner Mural
    • Holiday window art
    • Financial support for public art
  • Locally owned craft/artisan businesses
    • Full Bloom Coffee
    • Grafix House Design Studio
    • Shady’s
    • Coming soon: Aristotle Spirits
  • Retail/arts driven events
Target Markets

Target Customers

  • People looking for unique food & drink offerings
  • Live performance enthusiasts
  • Locals looking for entertainment destination

Target Businesses Sectors

  • Makers’ Space/Coworking businesses
  • Locally owned/artisan food & drink offerings
  • Performance/event venues

Community Recreation

Downtown Garner is a hub for active living and community recreation, with its walkable streetscape and access to many of the town’s most popular sports destinations and community centers.  Main Street is an ideal location for businesses looking to cater to active families, outdoor enthusiasts, and engaged community members.

Building Identity as Destination for

  • Local sports & recreation events
  • Regional tournaments
  • Urban living for active lifestyles
Assets & Stakeholders
  • Private Recreation Businesses
    • Garner Baseball
    • Polar Ice House Garner
  • Parks, Recreation & Cultural
    Resources staff & facilities
    • New Recreation Center
    • Garner Senior Center
    • Garner Rec Park
    • Avery Street Rec Center
    • PRCR offices in downtown
      district
  • Walkable downtown environment
    • 2 mile sidewalk loop
    • Pedestrian wayfinding
    • Indoor/outdoor walking track
      at Rec Center
Target Markets

Target Customers

  • Families with kids in leagues/tournament sports
  • Millenials/Empty Nesters who want to live near amenities
  • Active lifestyle/outdoor enthusiasts

Target Businesses Sectors

  • Food & drink geared toward families
  • Outdoor/sports related retail
  • Sports medicine offices

The Downtown Garner Association works closely with Garner Economic Development to match entrepreneurs and developers with the information and resources they need to choose Garner for their businesses.

Visit ChooseGarnerNC.com for more information about the greater Garner community, including available properties, target industries, taxes & incentives, and opportunity zones.

Garner Economic Development

2020 Annual Report